Danish carrier A.P. Moller–Maersk (Maersk) today announced Maersk Air Cargo as the company's main air freight offering, serving the logistics needs of clients with integrated logistics.

Maersk has also chosen Denmark's second largest airport Billund as its air freight hub for Maersk Air Cargo with daily flights creating several jobs in the region, an official statement said.

"To this end Maersk Air Cargo also announces their intent to enter into an agreement with the Flight Personnel Union (FPU) which is a part of the Danish Confederation and Trade Unions (FH)."

"Air freight is a crucial enabler of flexibility and agility in global supply chains as it allows our customers to tackle time-critical supply chain challenges and provides transport mode options for high value cargo," says Aymeric Chandavoine, Global Head of Logistics and Services, A.P. Moller–Maersk. "We strongly believe in working closely with our customers. Therefore, it is key for Maersk to also increase our presence in the global air cargo industry by introducing Maersk Air Cargo to cater even better for the needs of our customers."

The new air freight company is the result of the existing in-house aircraft operator Star Air, which has transferred activities into Maersk Air Cargo. "The process of transferring activities has received excellent support from customers, suppliers, employees and the Danish Civil Aviation Authority."

"Maersk Air Cargo is an important step of the Maersk Air Freight strategy, as it will allow us to offer customers a truly unique combination of air freight integrated with other transport modes," says Torben Bengtsson, Global Head of Air & LCL (Less than Container Load), A.P. Moller–Maersk. "We see an increased and continued demand for air cargo both today and going forward as well as a growing demand for end-to-end logistics, why it is important for us to strengthen our own-controlled capacity and advance further on our air freight strategy."

Maersk last operated from Billund in 2005. Maersk Air Cargo will progressively deploy and operate a controlled capacity of five aircraft – two new B777F and three leased B767-300 cargo aircraft. "Three new B767-300 freighters will also be added to the US-China operation, which will be initially handled by a third-party operator. The new aircraft are expected to be operational from the second half of 2022 and onwards up to 2024."

"We have had growth, defied Covid-19 and set a new record year in cargo in 2021," says Jan Hessellund, CEO, Billund Airport. "It does not happen without good partners, and we do what we can to make our partners good. Now Maersk Air Cargo enters the stage at Billund Airport and raises it a notch. We are incredibly proud that we are being chosen as Maersk's European hub for air freight, and we look forward to developing the collaboration to even new heights."

Maersk's ambition is to have approximately one-third of its annual air tonnage carried within its own controlled freight network. Maersk Air Cargo is expected to be fully operational by the second half of 2022.

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